13) Falcons’ QB Matt Ryan signed a five-year, $150 million deal ($100 million guaranteed), making him the first $30-million-a-year player in NFL history.
Wonder what Tom Brady thinks about that?
12) Since 1998, 66 NFL teams have won 4+ more games than they did the year before; six of those were last year. How do teams do the year after making such a big improvement?
Of the 60 teams between 1998-2016 to win 4+ more games than the year before, those teams won an average of 4.17 FEWER games the next year.
Why? Maybe teams don’t get the same breaks they did the year before, or injuries are an issue but there is usually a regression the year after teams have a quantum leap.
11) One thing here: 36 of those 66 teams had a first-year head coach. Maybe hearing a new voice or having a new program helps a team play better.
10) The six teams who had a quantum leap last year? Jaguars, Rams, Chargers, Vikings, Eagles and 49ers.
9) One oddity in compiling this list; only three teams in last 20 years fit into this category two years in a row, but two of the three were coached by John Fox: Carolina in 2002-03 and the Broncos in 2011-12.
Oakland (’15/’16) was 3rd team and they fired their coach after they regressed in 2017.
8) Detroit Pistons fired coach/president Stan Van Gundy, after five years. If I remember right, he did some college games for NBC College Sports (CAA games?) the last time he was a free agent coach, so maybe he’ll go back on TV and we can learn from him this winter.
7) A woman in Texas bet $18 on a pick-5 at Churchill Downs Saturday, and went home with a check for $1.2M. Justify was the favorite in the Kentucky Derby, but she also nailed a 39-1 winner named Funny Duck and a 9-1 shot named Yoshida.
6) Last three years, Baltimore Ravens finished 29th, 12th and 29th in NFL in passing yards; the problem might not be Joe Flacco— maybe they should get a decent offensive coordinator. Marty Mornhinweg ain’t the answer.
Look at Jared Goff LY, once he had a decent OC to school him; big difference, right?
5) CBS will have an NFL broadcast team this fall of Greg Gumbel, Trent Green and Bruce Arians; Arians might need a 5-second delay in case he curses on air, but I can’t wait to hear his game analysis, especially where quarterbacks are concerned.
4) This from TheMMQB.com: Miami Dolphins’ director of college scouting Adam Engroff has more than 7,000,000 Marriott points- he’s stayed in Marriotts for 3,778 nights in his life.
The guy has spent the equivalent of 10.35 years of his life staying in a Marriott. Oy.
3) NBA playoff factoid: Cleveland Cavaliers have a $100 fine for each player that falls for one of DeMar DeRozan’s pump fakes.
2) Monday would’ve been Dick Williams’ 89th birthday; Williams, John McNamara and Jimmy Dykes hold the MLB record, having managed six different major league teams.
Williams was a Hall of Fame manager, leading he A’s to the ’72/’73 World Series titles and also winning pennants with Boston and San Diego, but he would have a problem in today’s softer times. Williams was a surly guy who would criticize a player; that doesn’t fly these days.
1— RIP Gretchen Piscotty, mother of A’s outfielder Stephen Piscotty. Mrs Piscotty passed away this weekend from ALS. St Louis traded Stephen to the A’s this past winter in part so he could spend more time with his mom in her final days. RIP ma’am.